The old Kirby VanBurch theater is the new home to Bloom Church, which was previously located at the Branson Meadows.
“The abandoned Kirby VanBurch theater is now completely remodeled and renovated to be a center for life change in our community,” said Executive Pastor Tyler Long.
According to their website, Bloom Church was founded in March 2012 and launched March 3, 2013.
Bloom Church is now at 2353 State Highway 248 and hosts services on Sundays at 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 5 p.m. They also have two services provided in Forsyth at 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
“It’s nice actually having the space to be able to do what we need to do,” said Founding Pastor Michael Carlton. “It’s nice being able to have less services, at the time being, and then be able to grow into more services because now we have the ability to.”
With this new location and renovations, Bloom Church finally has the space it needs to continue to grow.
“We definitely think we’ll need to add some more services (and) that’s a good problem to have,” said Carlton. “We never want to make people feel like there’s no room for them and that we don’t have a place for them. I’m very strategic with that. I don’t want a crowd or a service to feel too full or someone to walk in and go, ‘you know what, they don’t have a place for me,’ so we always want to make sure that we’re thinking about that.
“When we add a service, it’s because we feel like there’s a capacity limit to a room size, and we want to make sure that when new families come into our church they go, ‘hey, I can call this place home. They’re not too big for me, it’s not too uncomfortable, it’s not too packed out. I could actually make this a place where I can build relationships and have family.’”
Bloom Church also wants to reach out to those who are currently looking for a church or don’t have a church family to call home.
“There’s a lot of reasons why people feel scared to go to church, maybe they’ve been hurt in the past or they’ve had hurt in their life; all of that we understand,” said Carlton. “Our biggest thing is we want to make people feel like they are loved, that they matter, that they are welcome and that we are so honored for them to be here. Everything we try to do is to make people feel that way. We want you to come into this place and you not feel confused, you not feel neglected or feel like it’s a bunch of cliques. We want you to know that it’s a family, we’re the family of faith.”
Pastor Carlton also puts an emphasis on #ForTheOzarks.
“Your first few years, you’re just trying to get a foundation going, and now we feel like God’s really shifting us to this place where we say ‘hey, we need to really understand what we’re for,’” said Carlton. “We’re for the Ozarks, we’re for our cities, we’re for our communities, we’re for the people in our communities and we want everything to be about that. We’re for you because God’s for you and God wants you to thrive and that’s what we’re striving to try to be.”
Bloom Church is also starting Sprouts Early Learning Center and Bloom Beyond.
“In Branson, there is a huge need for more preschool space. Sprouts Early Learning Center is hoping to attack that need (and) it will be located in the New Bloom church building,” said Long.
“Our heart is for the next generation and how we can impact that. One of the biggest things, like Mike was talking about with #ForTheOzarks, is how can we impact our community. One of the biggest needs that we’ve seen is child care, early child care. So, with this new space and having all of this room, it just made sense. Let’s try and attack one of these needs and let’s open up an early learning center. It’s going to be incredible.”
They are currently enrolling and will open on Jan. 6, Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“One of the biggest things we’ve seen is the waiting lists for all the other day cares, preschools and things like that so I would just encourage people to reach out and have a conversation with us,” said Long. “We’re giving tours right now. We want to show people the space, and if they feel comfortable we want to make sure that the child feels comfortable here. Our director, Antoinette, is just an incredible person and to be able to create that same kind of atmosphere we have here on a Sunday is to just feel at home.
“We’ve partnered with a company called Brightwheel, which is actually one of the ‘Shark Tank’ companies. It is one of the coolest early learning platforms that I have ever seen, and we are so fortunate to partner with them.”
Visit sproutslc.com for more information.
Bloom Beyond is another one of the #ForTheOzarks initiatives Bloom Church has created to aid the need in our community.
“We just started a foster and adoption care ministry as well because we know that is a huge need in Taney County,” said Long. “I think there’s over 300 foster kids in, like, 30-40 homes so, in finding all of this out, we started what we call Bloom Beyond and it’s just a foster and adoption care ministry to really attack that need in our community because we know that’s a big one as well.”
Bloom Beyond is a “fast track” program to create foster families.
“When we found out about the need of the foster and adoption care and just the crazy state the foster and adoption care in Taney county was in, we thought about ‘how could we help?’,” said Long. “We partnered with an organization called Backyard Orphans, which is just an incredible organization. They come in and they train your church on how to care for these situations. So we partnered with a couple different licensing organizations for foster and adoption care, we actually host adoption care trainings and we’ve set it up so we can fast track and do what normally took, like, nine months and a couple of weeks of training and get you on track to get a placement.
“We want to see a day where there are more families waiting on kids than kids waiting on a family.”
For information about Bloom Church visit bloomhere.org.